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Criminal Justice & Legal System

FOIA lawsuit against Schuette will be heard by Michigan Supreme Court

Michigan AG Bill Schuette
Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Radio

Several years ago, Progress Michigan started what would become a years long court battle with then-attorney general Bill Schuette.

The group accused Schuette and his office of using private emails for state business in 2016. The group filed a public records request for emails that were sent using private accounts.

Schuette’s office denied the request, saying there were no such documents.

Now, the Michigan Supreme Court will decide if the attorney general’s office needs to do a review of all personal emails from Schuette’s time in office and turn over any that involve state business.

Lonnie Scott is the executive director of Progress Michigan. He says this case is significant for transparency in Michigan.

“We believe that the public has a right through FOIA to access any business that’s taking place that affects public activities or how state government operates,” he said.

Schuette’s office continually denied that any documents exist showing employees used private emails for state business.

Schuette was replaced by Attorney General Dana Nessel in January. But Lonnie Scott says “accountability doesn’t have an expiration date.”

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